- Sen. Elizabeth Warren came out with a blog post about protecting American workers that reads similarly to changes President Donald Trump has tried to implement.
- Warren and Trump have similar concerns and they both outline a plan of action that aims to tackle the issues.
- The Daily Caller News Foundation spoke to experts about the similarities and differences regarding Warren and Trump’s policies.
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren struck a Trumpian chord in her blog post Tuesday about protecting American workers.
The 2020 presidential hopeful’s post, “A Plan For Economic Patriotism,” criticizes the state of the U.S. economy and the lack of American companies. Her concerns that American companies are not loyal, that more needs to be done to bring jobs to the American people and the need to spark the economy with true American companies resemble issues President Donald Trump has frequently brought up.
“She sounds like Donald Trump at his best,” Fox News’ Tucker Carlson said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Wednesday.
Comparing Warren and Trump’s Concerns
Warren said “American” companies have no loyalty to America. Her post states they only care about their shareholders and saving money, and that American policies have encouraged companies to do work abroad.
Trump said in 2016 “our workers’ loyalty was repaid with betrayal … Our politicians have aggressively pursued a policy of globalization — moving our jobs, our wealth and our factories to Mexico and overseas.”
Millions of jobs are being lost overseas, resulting in a dormant wage situation, according to Warren.
Trump said at the 2016 campaign event in Pennsylvania that “America has lost nearly one-third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997 — even as the country has increased its population by 50 million people … We allowed foreign countries to subsidize their goods, devalue their currencies, violate their agreements and cheat in every way imaginable. Trillions of our dollars and millions of our jobs flowed overseas as a result.”
“There’s definitely a mismatch between the rhetoric in the campaign and what has so far been delivered,” Samuel Hammond, director of Poverty and Welfare Policy at the Niskanen Center, told The Daily Caller News Foundation regarding Trump’s agenda.
Warren also said the economy is struggling because of a lack of economic patriotism, adding that it’s been America’s choice to prioritize “the interests of capital over the interests of American workers.”
“This wave of globalization has wiped out our middle class,” Trump said in 2016 on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania. “America became the world’s dominant economy by becoming the world’s dominant producer. The wealth this created was shared broadly, creating the biggest middle class the world had ever known. But then America changed its policy from promoting development in America, to promoting development in other nations.”
Warren continues to say politicians have historically refused to interfere, and that this is why so many jobs have been lost overseas and the economy has struggled to grow.
Similarly, Trump said in the same 2016 speech that “this is not some natural disaster. It is a politician-made disaster … Our politicians have aggressively pursued a policy of globalization — moving our jobs, our wealth and our factories to Mexico and overseas.”
“Broadly speaking, I would say that the goals of ensuring we have a strong economy that provides opportunities, good jobs, sustainable wages … those are shared goals, they aren’t partisan goals,” Romina Boccia, director of The Heritage Foundation, Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget Institute for Economic Freedom, told TheDCNF.
Comparing Warren’s Plan of Action with Trump’s
While the general issues might be common for all candidates to campaign on, much of Warren’s plan of action aims to tackle specific issues Trump has also tried to work on during his presidency. The big difference, Boccia and Hammond said, is how they intend to tackle these specific areas.
“The key difference may very well be that Warren wants the government to maneuver the levers of the economy, with the implicit assumption that government knows best what’s good for the American people,” Boccia told TheDCNF.
“Whereas President Trump has been mostly focused on getting government out of the way of American job creators and their workers by reducing harmful and excessive regulation and improving the tax code such that America is globally competitive, drawing investment and raising workers’ wages.”
Warren and Trump, like most, agree on this goal of promoting and creating American jobs.
“It’s interesting that Warren has leaned into this so aggressively because I think she’s trying to show that she can outmaneuver Trump at his own game,” Hammond told TheDCNF. “She can speak to the concerns that Trump spoke to, but with a plan that actually makes sense.”
While Warren and Trump agree on creating more jobs, the way they are each going about it “could not be further apart,” Boccia said.
“They [U.S. government] need to de-regulate so policies don’t pick winners and losers,” she added. “They shouldn’t be enacting new rules and regulations. We need to dismantle them, not add to them.”
Creating More American Jobs
Warren calls for “aggressively using all of our tools to defend and create American jobs.” She outlines that the government has, for the most part, shied away from “aggressively” intervening in markets to help American workers, and said she wants to implement more government actions to “promote sustainable job growth and industrial development.”
Trump’s White House fact sheet from 2018 outlines how the Trump administration has worked on economic policies and agendas to promote and create American jobs. Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, which aims to bring businesses back to the U.S.
“There is a big difference between the government picking winners and losers in the economy by intervening in markets, which will distort competition, investment, and reduce innovation, as Senator Warren is calling for, and promoting an environment that rewards entrepreneurship and work through deregulation and better, fairer tax policy that reduces distortions introduced by government intervention in the economy, as has been President Trump’s focus,” Boccia told TheDCNF. “On those fronts, Warren and Trump could not be further apart.”
By contrast, Hammond said Warren’s policy is not “picking winners or losers.”
“Critics will call Warren’s plan picking winners or losers, when in fact that’s what Trump has been doing,” Hammond said. “Warren’s plan entails creating a general more coherent framework for promoting American industry … creating a more level playing field for American firms on an international scale.”
Increasing Export Promotion
Another of Warren‘s proposals is aimed at “increasing export promotion to match the efforts of our competitors.” Warren said America needs to match its exports with places like China and Germany. In order to do this, she calls for more “medium- and long-term financing to support American exports.”
“Warren’s approach, as far as I can tell, is informed by places like Japan and Germany … that focus on broad export growth,” Hammond told TheDCNF.
Trump similarly outlined a plan to increase export promotion in 2018, saying he is “negotiating deals to increase U.S. exports and to bring investment to the United States.” He mentioned a $110 billion deal to sell defense equipment to Saudi Arabia and said more foreign companies are starting to invest in America. (RELATED: Coal Exports Have Surged Since Trump Took Office)
Managing Currency Values
“Where I worry that both President Trump and Warren see eye to eye are the kinds of policies that would actually do more harm to economic prospects of America’s workers than help them,” Boccia said.
One example of this is Warren’s goal of “more actively managing our currency value to promote exports and domestic manufacturing.” Warren links in her post to a proposed policy brief from 2012 that would force foreign countries to “stop manipulating their currencies and permit the dollar to regain a competitive level.”
The proposal focuses on China, Denmark, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland and Taiwan. Warren wants to decrease trade deficit and the loss of American jobs because of countries manipulating their currencies. She calls for a better plan to manage U.S. currency, but doesn’t give specific action on how she would get countries to sign onto a proposal like this.
“She recognizes that our strong dollar policy has had an effect,” Hammond said.
The Trump administration announced in May it is considering penalizing countries that undervalue their currencies. This move would be aimed at China, Germany, South Korea and other countries, according to The New York Times, building on an already-existing Treasury Department process. The Trump administration said certain countries underprice their currencies, which leads to more manufacturing industries.
“Central banks should only be focused on keeping a stable money supply, not trying to use economic levers to promote economic growth.” Boccia said.
Government Purchasing More U.S. Goods
Warren also calls for “deploying the massive purchasing power of the federal government to create markets for American-made products,” which would require the government to spend more of its money on buying American-made products.
Trump sent out an executive order to expand the 1989 “Buy America Act” in 2018 to include government infrastructure projects, including loans and grants. The expansion is meant to increase how much the government purchases U.S. goods, according to CNBC. (RELATED: Trump Plans To Impose Tariff On Mexico To Encourage Them To Stop Illegal Immigrants)
“Even more remarkable, many of Warren’s policy prescriptions make obvious sense,” Carlson said on his show Wednesday. “She says the U.S. government should buy American products when it can, and of course it should.”
Increase Apprenticeship Programs
Warren wants to “dramatically scale up apprenticeship programs.” The Department of Labor spends $200 million every year on apprenticeship programs. She said this number should be increased “tenfold” to $20 billion yearly for the next 10 years. Warren doesn’t detail how she plans to achieve this or who would fund this initiative.
“She says we need more workplace apprenticeship programs because four-year college degrees aren’t right for everyone,” Carlson said on his show. “Well, that’s true.”
Trump signed an executive order in 2017 to increase the number of U.S. apprenticeships, doubling what the government spends on apprenticeship programs, Fortune reported. The Labor Department added a new website in 2018 to help promote business apprenticeship programs, the Washington Examiner noted.
Warren and Trump are “misguided” on these policy ideas, and the federal government should not be involved in this issue, Boccia told TheDCNF.
“The best way to train workers is through the private sector,” she said. “[Federal] funding always comes attached with rules and regulations. Having the federal government get involved is more likely to stifle progress.”
“My big takeaway is Warren has identified a lot of the same problems with U.S. economy and state of manufacturing, but has come forward with a set of policies that is much more rooting in research and evidence,” Hammond said.
“We’re going through one of the greatest expansions in U.S. history,” Boccia said. “These unemployment levels haven’t been seen in 50 years … minorities, low-income workers are benefiting the most.”
“Why is this? Because of the President’s de-regulatory agenda and tax reforms that are making America more competitive,” Boccia continued. “Those are the policies that we need to build on and continue. We need to remove barriers.”
Warren’s campaign and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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